10 favourite Needlepoint Embroidery Stitches

Needlepoint embroidery is not for the fainthearted. It takes a lot of dedication and patience to complete a small area in needlepoint embroidery but once completed, no other embroidery looks as beautiful.

Needlepoint is a kind of embroidery in which the whole foundation fabric is covered with embroidery stitches. Silk threads, wool yarn or embroidery floss are used to make the stitches that cover the base fabric, usually canvas. 

There are countless stitches and their variations in needle point embroidery. If you go through a needle point book with all the different variety of stitches, you may decide to quit the embroidery altogether and go do something else- in confusion as to which to choose. They are all beautiful and incomparable. But some stitches truly elevate the beauty of a needlepoint artwork, and at the same time are very easy to make. Here are some of them – my fovourites

Needlepoint Embroidery Stitches

Basic Tent stitch

needle point stitches

This is the simplest of all needle point stitches and the most difficult. Simple, because it is very easy to make a single stitch but difficult, because if you make small tent stitches on your canvas, the time taken to complete a work is so much more than when covered with large covering stitches.

The tent stitch is a small diagonal stitch worked in a row. The stitch is worked from left to right. You can create great shading effect using this stitch – and because of this versatility, this is the most commonly used stitch in needle point embroidery.

You can work this over a straight stitch for a raised effect. It can also be done diagonally across the fabric. 

Cross Stitch

needle point stitches

This is another very commonly used needle point stitch – but beautiful nevertheless.

needle point- cross stitch

This can be done the same way you do cross stitch embroidery – make diagonal stitches first and then comes back and finish the crosses or as stand alone cross stitches. Learn other varieties of cross stitch here.

Brick stitch

needle point embroidery - stitches

In this, short stitches are made in a brick laying fashion. After one row of stitches is made, the next one is made so that the stitches begin half way from the first row of stitches. That sounds confusing, but it is quite easy to make.

Just make back stitches to work the row of straight stitches. When you begin the next row of stitches, ensure that the junction between the stitches come between the first row of stitches – there I have managed to confuse you again. Even I am confused now. You can see in the picture below, it is easy.

Plait stitch

This is a long legged cross stitch with the legs inteweaved.You will be starting the next stitch between the first stitch. 

needle point embroidery stitches

This gives a plaited effect.


Diagonal Stitch

needle point embroidery work stitches

Make straight stitches in a diagonal manner, making them fit against each other.



Mosaic stitch

You can mark your squares for this stitch with 4 horizontal and 4 vertical threads of the fabric. Make diagonal stitches in the direction you want.

needle point stitch list

Florentine stitch

This stitch is also called the flame stitch.

It is made in a zig zag manner – straight stitches are made in a wave like pattern.

needle point embroidery stitch

Hungarian stitch

This consists of 3 straight stitches – the longer one in the middle, flagged by the shorter ones.

Star Stitch

needle point stitches

Eight straight stitches are made around a hole for making this stitch.

Rhodes stitch

best needle point stitches

This is a beautiful 3 dimensional stitch. You will be marking a small square for each stitch – usually 6 or 7 threads are used to mark the square.

Start with a diagonal stitch across the square from one corner to the other . The subsequent stitches are made across the next holes. Follow the picture below.

Related posts : Best filling stitches; Best background stitches; Hand embroidery FAQ.

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